Introduction: Places of Discovery
Quebec covers an immense territory that extends some 2 000 km from
north to south and about 1 200 km from east to west. Someone travelling
from the north of Quebec to the south would first go across tundra
and a vast boreal forest before encountering the deciduous forest
growing in a temperate climate. Within this territory, living conditions
and available food resources vary widely from one region to another.
Since all of the regions have long been occupied, each presents specific
problems when it comes to historical and cultural interpretation.
Quebec is a land of bays, headlands, lakes and rivers. For the First
Peoples living in the St. Lawrence Valley, the great river and its
tributaries represented essential lines of communication. The sites
used by early populations are generally found on the shores of these
waterways, and archaeological expeditions in this environment are
very often successful. Over 8 000 sites have already been located
and this number increases every year.
The territory of Quebec is thus full of echoes of the past. Entire
long-forgotten chapters in the story of the First Peoples have come
to light. Archaeologists have worked in many places, including the
Gaspé Peninsula, the North Shore, the Abitibi-Temiscaming
region, Cap-Tourmente (near Quebec City) and the Montérégie
(Montreal plain). This section presents some of the sites found in
the above regions and describes the way researchers believe people
once lived there.
Center, Université de Montréal 2006. All rights reserved. Questions/comments?